Im naturally a bit of a worrier. Booking my first beginner’s yoga class brought up a whole new set of things to fret about. Am I fit enough to get through the class? What should I wear? Do I need my own mat? Will it hurt or Will I get injured? Will I look stupid?
What a waste of mental effort that was! As it turned out there was absolutely nothing to worry about at all.
First Class Worries
Am I fit enough to get through the class?
At most beginners yoga class if you can sit on the floor and get up again without the assistance of another then you are most likely fit enough. I would check with the teacher about the level of the class you are booking though. Make sure the teacher knows about your fitness level before you begin.
If you can’t sit on the floor and get up again then you can still do Yoga but a general class may not be for you. Try looking for a chair yoga class. Alternatively, an individual one to one session with a teacher may be the way to go.
Will it hurt or will I get injured?
Yoga shouldn’t hurt, there should be no pain ever. A good teacher will tell you to go just as far as feels comfortable to start with. Pay attention to this. I’m not yet fully teacher trained but I am sure this is the best advice you can get. If it starts to feel uncomfortable backoff. Sit down or go into child pose. People who get injured in a yoga class will do so because of their ego – trying to compete with others who are naturally more flexible or who are more practised. They try to go beyond what they are capable of at that point in time. I’ve been there and done that which is the subject of another blog.
Leave your ego at the studio door and pick it up on the way out again. Acceptance and love your body as it is for now.
What should I wear?
Something comfortable that you can move in. Gym clothes are usually fine.
Trousers with an elasticated waist too. You do not need super tight designer lycra leggings but these are fine if you wish. A t-shirt or sports top as well.
Gents no baggy shorts Please. We don’t all want to see your bits. I’ve seen men wearing baggy shorts over cycling shorts which works well. Sweat pants are good but may be a bit warm.
A layering of 2 or 3 thin tops is good so you can take something off as you warm up.
In other words, anything you can stretch and bend a little in without your clothing restricting you.
I would avoid Hoodies which are not good as the hood comes down over your face in some positions.
We do yoga in bare feet, you will be taking your shoes off.
Do I need my own mat?
It would be very unusual for you to need your yoga mat for a beginners class but check with the teacher first. Most yoga teachers have a ready supply and will lend you one on arrival. Ive never actually heard of a studio where having your own mat is compulsory. There are lots of different sorts of mat. I would wait until you find out more about them before purchasing one as a complete beginner.
Will I look stupid?
A perfectly valid worry but the answer depends on your point of view. To some, all yoga poses look stupid even when practised by the most seasoned yogi. I probably look stupid at some point in every class. In fact I hope so or it would mean that I’m not trying.
Yoga is not about perfection. It is about practising, about the journey. Everyone will be attempting the same postures, they will not be looking at you. Yoga makes us concentrate on our own bodies and not look at each other.
What were your worries before your first yoga class? Please do share😊